Years ago, a client of mine taught me an influential leadership framework called:

See, Think, Do

The idea is that if you want an employee, customer, or partner to do something differently than how they are currently, you need to:

1) Change how they see the situation.

2) This, in turn, changes how they think about the situation.

3) Which then naturally leads people to do things differently than they are currently.

Where a lot of people go wrong is they jump to telling others what to do… and it often doesn’t work.

Let’s say you manage facility maintenance at a SpaceX industrial site.

You manage a janitor who has been sloppily mopping the floor. He misses certain spots.

You can tell him what to do — “Don’t miss spots. Do better”

Sometimes, that works; other times, it doesn’t.

Maybe the janitor thinks you’re being overly obsessive. I mean, what’s the big deal?

Using the See, Think, Do framework, you notice that the janitor sees the work he does as unimportant. He thinks that whether he does an impeccable job or a mediocre one, it doesn’t matter… And as a result, when it comes time to do, he’s inconsistent.

If this is how he sees and thinks about his role, his behavior is unlikely to change much or for very long.

Using this framework, you might consider focusing on the see part of the framework first.

“What we are doing here at SpaceX has never been done by humanity. There are no unimportant roles when we’re trying to make history and change the future of humanity.

“It is essential that the rocket scientists, engineers, and test pilots have a safe work environment. A clean floor is a safe floor.

“If there’s debris, liquid, or excess wax on the floor, it makes the floor slippery. A slippery floor is an unsafe floor. We don’t want a test pilot to sprain an ankle, which could delay a test flight or distract them. We don’t want a critical scientist slipping and hitting their head.

“Every person on this team has an important job to do. When we’re trying to change the course of humanity, we need the absolute best team that excels at everything… including cleaning floors exceptionally well.

“That is how I see your role in the company. It is a critically important role. Do you see why clean and safe floors are so essential to achieving our mission to Mars?”

When you can help someone see a situation differently, it automatically changes how they think about the situation. Once someone thinks differently, oftentimes, what they do also tends to change.

This is not the only way to lead. It is merely one tool you can use in your influential leadership toolkit.

What do you think about this framework? Comment below to let me know.

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